Kirby creator working on new project

Masahiro Sakurai is making a new LCD game with former Sega hardware developers.

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Former Hal Laboratory producer Masahiro Sakurai may be creating the next Smash Brothers for Nintendo's Revolution, but Famitsu reports that he's also been working on smaller projects. Sega announced that it is releasing a new LCD game on February 23 in Japan, which will be based on its popular MushiKing arcade card battle game. MushiKing isn't a widely recognized title in America, but it's a major hit with kids in Japan, where more than 11,000 machines are installed nationwide in toy stores and other locations.

Sodatete! MushiKing, as Sakurai's game is called, is a virtual-pet game like Bandai's Tamagotchi toys. The game, which features 20 different types of beetles for players to raise, comes in a round, plastic casing with horns sticking out from the top. The beetles are finicky eaters, and by figuring out which food the bug likes best, its stats are raised. Players can raise their beetle for one week until it dies, but if they take good care of the beetle, it will leave an egg, and its parameters will be inherited to the next beetle.

Like the arcade version, the player can fight against CPU-controlled beetles in a game of rock-paper-scissors. Sodatete! MushiKing owners can also challenge one another, as the LCD game comes with an infrared communication function. There are also four minigames that can be enjoyed alone.

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